Bob Franken




It’s time for me to eat a little crow. I’d say eat a little Snowflake, which is the name of Ted Cruz’s family dog, but that could start a cultural conversation that’s a distraction, and the point is difficult enough for me.
I reported that the Cruzes had left Snowflake alone in their freezing Houston house as they tried to escape to Cancun. They also left behind millions of Texans, Sen. Cruz’s constituents, suffering in their frigid homes with a lack of safe water due to burst pipes because the state’s electric utility failed.
In the case of Snowflake, I done him wrong. Because I didn’t check for myself, I didn’t get my facts straight. Adorable Snowflake was not being mistreated. Electricity and heat had returned by the time the Cruz brood flew the family coop. Additionally, he had a pet sitter. I say “he” because other media have identified the dog as a male but, personally, I haven’t looked. And won’t.
But I digress. I got the puppy-left-in-the-cold part of the story wrong. And for that, I’m sorry.
Speaking of apologizing, Ted Cruz has been telling every media interviewer who asks that the Cancun trip was “a mistake.” And for a while, wherever TV cameras went, there was Cruz, passing out food and water. Which begs the question, When does apologizing become groveling?
After a few days, Cruz has gotten his oleaginous mojo back to complain that it was “creepy” that a reporter had snapped a picture of Snowflake standing in the door, and “really creepy” that paparazzi got photos of his wife, Heidi, at the beach wearing a bikini.
My momma didn’t raise no objectifying fool, so there’s no way I’ll describe the money picture. Instead, I rely on her husband, who said, “Heidi is smoking hot.”
As for the calls for him to resign. Cruz brushed them off with, “We just need to laugh a little bit and loosen up,” which might strike some people as rank hypocrisy considering Sen. Ted Cruz’s style of pedal-to-the-metal politics. No shot is too cheap.

And there is no shortage of hypocrisy; witness the sanctimonious reaction to Neera Tanden, head of the Center for American Progress and nominee for Joe Biden’s budget chief. Her confirmation held up because of Tanden’s past disdainful invective on social media directed at the very senators who have to approve any Joe Biden selection at that level. She took no prisoners with her accusatory “mean tweets.” And now Republicans and Democrats alike have been getting their revenge for the social media insults she routinely hurled at them.
She, too, has apologized to the point of groveling in spite of the fact that these same senators tolerated four years of grossly offensive tweeting from the president of the United States. Donald Trump and his accomplices set the pace for the Republican Party, then and now. He even gave Cruz the nickname “Lyin Ted,” but then opportunistic Ted became one of Trump’s fiercest defenders.
There’s always at least one trophy — there is no other way to describe it — among a new president’s cabinet nominations that the opposition party likes to bloody to embarrass him — particularly, it seems, a woman of color. Neera Tanden is of Indian lineage.
It’s time, as Sen. Cruz said, “to laugh a little bit and loosen up” when it comes down to insulting tweets as nothing more than a part of politics, or making a blunder, which Cruz did, also a part of politics; take your lumps and move on.
Speaking of taking lumps, I want to apologize again for the mistakes I made about Snowflake — to the Cruz family, and obviously to Snowflake. I was careless and I hope I learn a lesson from them. Like so many humans, I probably won’t.

© 2021 Bob Franken
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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